Atomic Energy – Patents – Patent Aspects of Domestic Law, Euratom, and the International Atomic Energy Agency

With the growing importance of atomic energy, conventional legal concepts must be adapted and remodeled to fit new situations. In the area of patent law, the traditional notion that the inventor’s reward should be a legal monopoly in the invention, in the form of a patent, has to be reconciled with the need for wide dissemination of technical information. The need for secrecy, for government control over weapons, and for cooperation with other countries affects the atomic patent system. These factors are reflected in the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 and in the agreements establishing two international organizations concerned with atomic energy: the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM) and the International Atomic Energy Agency. It is the purpose of this comment to sketch some of these patent provisions.